University gets active for transgender students

Students from the University of Dundee’s LGBT+ Society have teamed up with The Institute of Sport and Exercise (ISE) to pilot a new project, which will allow trans and gender non-conforming students supported access to the gym and sports teams.

Recent estimates suggest that 1 in 200 people identify with being trans and gender non-conforming. Those who align with this can suffer dysphoria and risk of harassment, a barrier when accessing clearly gendered facilities including sporting services.

The pilot project, which is open to students from both Dundee and Abertay Universities, will see a four week trial membership to the ISE gym which will include advice and support in the creation of appropriate individual programmes for all those who sign up, meaning more students will be able to use the top-class facilities on campus.

The ISE’s Personal Training staff have received bespoke trans-awareness training from the society’s members, similar to that delivered by student Jai NicAllen recently hailed at the Young Scot Awards 2016 for improving the teaching of Medicine at the University.

Alex Muir, fourth-year Politics student and Secretary for the LGBT+ Society, said, “Regular exercise is key to good physical health, but it is also great for mental health. This trial continues the campus-wide efforts of students and staff to provide activities to improve mental health.

“For me, this has been one of the best ways to deal with dysphoria and become more comfortable with my body. Everyone has the right to an active and healthy life. And any projects that work towards removing the barriers that LGBT+ people face we will work with, to create a better and more inclusive community in Dundee.”

Nik Long, Gym Manager at ISE, said, “We strive to transform lives through sport, exercise and physical activity, this is undoubtedly at the core of everything we do here at The Institute of Sport and Exercise.

“Being physically active has such positive benefits for our physical and mental health, our job is to get more people involved and to break down barriers making sport and exercise fully inclusive for all. The staff involved in the project have received trans-awareness training from the students themselves, making it a perfect example of the University community coming together for positive change.”

For media enquiries contact:
Dominic Glasgow
Media Relations Officer
University of Dundee
Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN
Tel: +44 (0)1382 385131